A newer Royal Rajasthan on Wheels has replaced the two-decade old luxurious train Palace on Wheels (PoW) and assumed the latter’s name this season.
Similar to PoW, the Royal Rajasthan covered seven destinations in Rajasthan and Agra and additionally stopped at Varanasi and Khajuraho. The two additional stops have been dropped since Royal Rajasthan will now run on the PoW route.
The trains are mainly patronised by foreign passengers and the government is trying to step up the popularity quotient. While the erstwhile PoW has taken a hit in terms of passenger numbers, Royal Rajasthan has struggled to get on the track after its launch in 2009.
Till now Palace on Wheels offered a seven-day ride across seven destinations for a couple at the price of USD 9,100.
PoW, with the new name ‘Heritage Palace on Wheels’, may involve shorter travel course of 4 days from December this year covering Delhi, Jaipur, and Agra for USD 3,200 for a couple. But the change would depend on the Railway Ministry’s nod and hopefully be implemented from the next season.
On the other hand, the Royal Rajashan will run as Palace on Wheels on a seven-day ride through seven destinations at USD 9,100 for a couple. Royal Rajasthan’s actual fare was USD 9,500, but it had incurred a Rs 3 crore loss to the state government till 2016, the newspaper mentioned.
As the ride on the Heritage Palace on Wheels becomes the cheapest among luxury ones in India, the government is hoping to get more domestic tourists along with foreigners, a top official told the newspaper.
Royal Rajasthan, which is now PoW, is more spacious and luxurious. Although it has three cabins in a saloon as opposed to four in the old PoW. The Royal Rajasthan rake also has only 84-passenger capacity while PoW could accommodate 104 passengers, a government official said.